Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fender Jaguar Modification

A regular customer had a Fender Jaguar bass coming to him that he had purchased from overseas, and wanted to have some major modifications performed the minute it arrived.

Here's what was requested:

  • New tortoise pickguard
  • Install Nordstrand NP4 and NJ4SE pickups, neck and bridge
  • Re-wire switching plate for on/off control of each pickup and series/parallel control of NP4
  • Install Aguilar OBP-3 using existing control layout
  • Install Hipshot A-type bridge
  • Shielding, in particular to avoid pickguard static build-up
  • Full set up with DR Marcus Miller signature strings.
The most time consuming part of this modification is the pickguard. Although there are great aftermarket sellers of Jaguar pickguards out there, I had to make one from scratch due to the routing required for the NP4.

On the slab.

Stock pickguard and thin MDF.

Traced and ready for rough cutting.

Filed and test-fitted.

Stock pickguard, thin MDF template, master template.

Rough cut and ready for trimming.

Bevelled and countersunk for mounting screws.

Bam! Perfect fit.

Routed for the NP4. The P-shape recess had to be finished off by hand due to the tight corners.

Prepping the NP4 for four-conductor wiring conversion.

Done! Couldn't do the series/parallel switching otherwise.

Wired up to the switch plate for a quick passive test. All working!

That's all for this time. Next time, the Aguilar goes in, the bridge gets installed, and the whole bass is set up and ready to go.

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